The Bird With The Crystal Plumage is an Italian giallo film directed by Dario Argento. The plot sees Sam Dalmas (Tony Musante), an American writer holidaying in Rome become tangled up in a series of bizarre murders. As the killer creeps closer Sam has to figure out who it is and stop them.
What I enjoyed the most about this film was the merging of noir elements and supernatural slasher elements to create a hybrid of sorts. The killer in this film is menacing and mysterious, almost more so than any of the slashers that would come after them, pair this with the fact they also doesn’t feel out of place in this very realistic world. It is a tight rope walk, but one that this film pulls off well.
Pacing wise this film is a model that other films should strive for, it used its hour and a half runtime well it build the mystery and sense of threat over the course of the film well, never giving it a moment to drop or drag. Moreover, the mystery was never obvious, it kept you guessing, and I appreciated that.
I thought the acting was top notch as well, Musante was a compelling lead who had just the right amounts of vulnerability and capability to never feel anything other than a real person. He is not some invincible force of justice, neither is a terrified victim, rather he feels rounded.
Overall, a fantastic example of Italian genre cinema. A strong mystery adapted well that has more than enough thrills and chills to keep you invested
The leading man
It would have been nice to see the female characters be more than just sex objects and victims
Reviewed by Luke